Ramblin’ Jack Elliott
Thursday, September 30th at 7pm
“Nobody I know-and I mean nobody-has covered more ground and made more friends and sung more songs than the fellow you’re about to meet right now. He’s got a song and a friend for every mile behind him. Say hello to my good buddy, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott.”
-Johnny Cash, The Johnny Cash Television Show, 1969.
One of the last true links to the great folk traditions of this country, with over 40 albums under his belt, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott is considered one of the country’s legendary foundations of folk music.
Long before every kid in America wanted to play guitar – before Elvis, Dylan, the Beatles or Led Zeppelin – Ramblin’ Jack had picked it up and was passing it along. From Johnny Cash to Tom Waits, Beck to Bonnie Raitt, Ry Cooder to Bruce Springsteen, the Grateful Dead to The Rolling Stones, they all pay homage to Ramblin’ Jack Elliott.
In the tradition of roving troubadours Jack has carried the seeds and pollens of story and song for decades from one place to another, from one generation to the next. They are timeless songs that outlast whatever current musical fashion strikes today’s fancy.
Thursday, October 14th at 7pm
An eight-time W.C. Handy “Best Blues Instrumentalist – Piano” award nominee, Henry Butler knows no limitations. Although blinded by glaucoma since birth, Butler is also a world class photographer with his work displayed at exhibitions throughout the United States. Playing piano since the age of six, Butler is a master of musical diversity. Combining the percussive jazz piano playing of McCoy Tyner and the New Orleans style playing of Professor Longhair through his classically trained wizardry, Butler continues to craft a sound uniquely his own. A rich amalgam of jazz, Caribbean, classical, pop, blues and R&B influences, his music is as excitingly eclectic as that of his New Orleans birthplace.
Thursday, November 18th at 7pm
Red Molly consistently brings concert-goers to their feet with stunning three-part harmonies, crisp musicianship and a warm, engaging stage presence. They have earned a devoted and ever-widening fan base, and have begun to tour nationally. Laurie MacAllister, Abbie Gardner and Carolann Solebello have a lot of fun on stage, and it’s contagious.
The Boston Globe says: “Everything Red Molly sings is delivered with tick-tight arrangements, crystalline vocals, and caramel harmonies. But what is most striking is the ardor they bring to everything they do, whether snuggling into the sweet parochialism of an old spiritual, or the gritty pathos of a Gillian Welch tune. They come on less like stars strutting for their minions than pals sharing their favorite songs. In the friendly world of the coffeehouse, that remains a star-making quality.”
Thursday, December 16th at 7pm
It has always seemed as if there were two Cheryl Wheelers, with fans of the New England songwriter relishing watching the two tussle for control of the mic. There is poet-Cheryl, writer of some of the prettiest, most alluring and intelligent ballads on the modern folk scene. And there is her evil twin, comic-Cheryl, a militant trend defier and savagely funny social critic. The result is a delightful contrast between poet and comic.
Wednesday, January 26th, 2011 at 7pm
Many singer-songwriters toil for months on their Macs, trying to make a demo that sounds polished enough to score them a record deal with a major label. But Ari Hest has done the exact opposite, as he continues to defy the conventional route of a musician.
Already signed to a major, he opted out of his label deal so that he could have more control over his art. He then embarked on his ambitious ‘52′ project, during which he spent all of last year immersed in an unprecedented effort – to write, record, produce and release one new song per week, for 52 weeks in a row. Now, he will self-release his new studio CD, ‘Twelve Mondays,’ on March 10th. The album features reworked versions of 12 fan-selected songs, culled from the past year’s extraordinary output.
It’s a renegade path that reveals the ‘New Music Industry’ at its best, and allows Hest’s impressive work to find the audience he wants it to find. ‘Twelve Mondays’ showcases the diversity of Hest’s songwriting – from the haunting, minimasterpiece “Broken Voices” to the USA TODAY ‘Listen Up Music Pick’ “The Weight,” which was praised as a “poignant, acoustic reverie…” – From the wistful travelogue “Ride The Brake” to the radio-friendly “Dead End Driving,” it’s a remarkable mix that’s distinguished by the intelligence, nuance and range of Hest’s material. Add to that the fact that these songs were written amid the week-to-week gauntlet of ‘52′, and it’s all the more impressive.